Thursday, October 16, 2014

Longevity and Urban America?

This map is somewhat challenging to decipher.  It shows the percentage of the population who are 85 years of age or older for each of the lower 48 state's 363 metro areas.  The purple areas have in some cases nearly double the senior populations of the orange metros.  These purple areas have 2-4% of their population consisting of Americans who have lived 5-10 years longer than the average life expectancy of about 75.  Some areas popular with retirees like Florida's metro, Prescott (AZ), Santa Barbara (CA), and Asheville (NC) show up as purple.  So do wealthier areas in Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut where health care may be more accessible.  There is also a fair sprinkling of old Rust Belt and upper Plains metros where there has been a large out-migration of younger workers.  So, while intriguing to ponder whether residents of some cities live longer than their peers in other cities, this map has too many possible variables to show a clear pattern.

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